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house listen to the principles themselves, the president speaker boehner talk about these issues, i would rather be here because this is where so much of the same conversation is going to be taking place, and i get the opportunity today to talk to many of those principles directly involved in those negotiations, what's going to play out of the next couple months. it's a critical time in the country's fiscal history right now, tough decisions to be made. and again, honored. glad somebody people are watching as well over the internet and elsewhere. so we are going to begin some additional conversations here right now. i'm going to be talking about with members of congress but also to erskine bowles and alan simpson there. will he talk with some top economist about some of the choices facing those policymakers, but right now we are joined by one of the principals in the conversation to take place over at the white house in just about an hour or so, and that is gene sperling, the director of the national economic council. so i will invite him out there on the stage. so if gene sperling
leaders including house speaker john boehner, house democratic leader nancy pelosi, senate majority leader harry reid and a republican mitch mcconnell. the first meeting since the election. they discussed what to do about expiring busheir tax reductions and across-the-board spending cuts set to hit in january called the fiscal cliff. they allowed cameras in the room before the talks. >> i want to welcome the congressional leadership and thank them for their time. we have -- factors don't go on middle class families that our economy remains strong and we are creating jobs and and that's the agenda that democrats and republicans and independents all across the country share so our challenge is to make sure that we are able to capri together and work to find common ground, make compromises and build consensus. all of us agree on this they want to see us focused on that but not our politics here in washington. my hope is this is the beginning of a process where we are able to come to an agreement that will reduce our deficit in a balanced way that we will deal with some of these long term enti
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